It is no surprise that the post-2020 world is a completely new one altogether! And all those ‘handbooks’ on running a successful business have undoubtedly been redefined and extensively revised in a span of less than a year for almost all markets out there.
Lately, the digital-first approach implementation has seen a tremendous rate of acceptance and success. To put it plainly, digital-first means digitally dealing with most aspects of running a company. Since 2020, we have seen most traditional brick-and-mortar establishments transition into a digital-first way of functioning.
According to a report by IBEF, India’s e-commerce orders volume increased by 36% in the last quarter of 2020, with the personal care, beauty and wellness (PCB&W) segment being the largest beneficiary. Indian e-commerce is projected to increase from 4% of the total food and grocery, apparel and consumer electronics retail trade in 2020 to 8% by 2025.
In this episode of Content Kettle, our guest, Arita Abrol, the founder of The Six Bravo and Siachen, took us along her entrepreneurial journey of running two successful e-commerce businesses while amplifying the digital-first approach.
About The Six Bravo and Siachen
“In India, we either have mass brands or high-end luxury brands”, Arita quotes. There is no in-between; there never really was. This meant one had to either compromise on quality or accessibility and affordability. She set out on a mission to change that and thus started The Six Bravo, a men’s online clothing store.
After over a year, she started yet another company- Siachen, a natural online beauty products store. She says her entrepreneurial journey through The Six Bravo motivated her to kickstart this project. However, the niche research for the same had begun a long time ago. The year 2020 just enabled her to make it happen.
Here are the key points she shared.
Why you need a digital-first brand
Today, setting up an online store means drastic reductions in cost and labor along with abundant flexibility. One digital store holds the potential of attracting customers and creating revenues equivalent to tens or even hundreds of traditional offline stores combined.
“With both the brands, the approach is to have an online presence and also substantiate with brick-and-mortar partnerships, rather than a stand-alone store (thus, reducing costs).”, she says. Especially with 6B, since people would want to experience the touch and feel before buying clothing, partnerships were more of a conscious decision to reach more people.
She further stresses on meticulously drafting a budget/resource plan that the company can comfortably afford for a bracket of 8-10 months at least rather than ambitiously taking impulsive financial decisions.
“An online store would let us cater to customers anywhere in India and abroad as well” she adds. Just one digital store can help you reach out to customers from the extreme north to the extreme south of the country, along with customers overseas as well.
It also helps India finally be recognized as not just a manufacturing country but a country with so much more potential and the ability to be providers of their quality skills across the globe.
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What helps build trust and gather potential customers
Have open channels of communication
You need to communicate with your target audience. “Make sure your website has two-way communication going on (through a live chat feature, let’s say)”, she stresses.
Be there when they have queries and help make their shopping experience hassle-free. Be in touch with a customer even after their purchase and get their active feedback. Your customers will help you grow. Ask them what can be improved and work on it.
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Also read Tips to Build a Mobile-Friendly Website.
Have an approach that’s all about community-building
In Arita’s words, “Have a voice – a relatable persona. A sense of community is built around it”.
How you communicate the brand story from the time the brand is completely new to the customer, to where they know a little about you and then want to know more, is a journey; a journey that can be fueled with the spirit of community-building.
It is a journey of acquiring customers from a sales perspective and then trying to maintain and retain them from a brand-building perspective.
Challenges faced by a digital brand
The digital landscape is very competitive
As exciting as this domain can be, it can also be equally demotivating. Given the accessibility, affordability and flexibility of setting up and running an e-commerce store, there is some serious competition out there.
It is essential to grab attention and build trust in a short span of time
Your company should convince potential customers to trust you even before placing an order. It is easy to get swept away under the carpet of a gazillion other options otherwise.
Listen more about Arita Abrol’s experiences with social media marketing, brand stickiness, her two cents worth to budding companies and so much more in this episode here.
Content Kettle is our E-Commerce Special podcast. Starting an eCommerce business may have gotten easier. But taking your products to buyers is getting tougher by the day. In the age of rising competition and a digital-first take on consumer-brand relationships, what eCommerce marketing strategies really work? In this podcast, we talk to brand owners, marketers and eCommerce experts to help you reach ‘what works’, faster.